• Leadership Santa Maria Valley Graduates Class of 2020

    The Santa Maria Valley Chamber is proud to announce the graduation of the 25th Leadership Class. This class began with a retreat last August and then started their day-long topic days with a tour of Vandenberg Air Force Base in September. The usual format of Leadership Santa Maria Valley (LSMV) is to have 10 topic days where the class hears speakers and takes tours around a specific business sector each month. However, like so many other things in 2020, that format had to change in April due to the pandemic. Instead of the traditional topic days in April, May and June, the class held a series of Zoom meetings and invited speakers to share their expertise in the fields of Sustainability, Agriculture and Leadership, which would have been explored those months.

    June is the traditional time for graduations and the LSMV graduation was held in late June. We also had to re-imagine what our graduation would look like. Taking a page from the local school districts, we decided on a drive-though graduation, which took place on the top level of the Santa Maria Town Center’s parking structure. Instead of the traditional evening reception, the class members drove past a line of LSMV and Chamber board members and received a box of cupcakes, a gift certificate to the Historic Santa Maria Inn and their framed graduation certificate. As a final stop, they got out of their car and where photographed with their certificates. Thank you to Mayor Alice Patino for joining us for the graduation and being part of the photo op.

    We are very proud of this class of 20 future leaders. They continue to work on their legacy project and we look forward to celebrating the completion of their project later this year. They have shown resilience and perseverance through this pandemic. It has been a pleasure to know them and watch them build their leadership skills.